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Bullet trains will be affordable with competitive pricing: Piyush Goyal

 Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said the fare structure of the high-speed bullet train would be passenger friendly and affordable for all unlike the prices in advanced countries where they are on par with air fares.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe are scheduled to lay the foundation stone of the bullet train project between Ahmedabad and Mumbai on September 14.

We will certainly keep it (the fare) affordable. If passengers pay less for a flight ticket, why would they travel by the bullet train? So, we have to be competitive," said Goyal.

Officials said working out the fare details was premature at this stage, but added that the bullet train would have two categories of seats executive and economy with the prices comparable with the base AC 2-tier fare of the Rajdhani Express.

They said in the initial days, around 1.6 crore people were expected to travel by the bullet train annually, adding that by 2050, around 1.6 lakh commuters should travel by the high-speed train on a daily basis.

The railways will initially operate 35 bullet trains and by 2053, the number was expected to go up to 105, they added.

While covering the 508-km stretch between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, the train will stop at 10 stations -- Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand and Sabarmati.

A railway official said the train would take 2 hours and 58 minutes to cover the distance if it took 10 halts, adding that with two halts -- at Surat and Vadodara -- the travelling time would come down to two hours.

The bullet train will run at an average speed of 320 km per hour with a maximum speed of 350 km per hour.

The train would require a cleaning time of four hours, after running for 20 hours, the official said.

The railways will only require around 825 hectares of land for the project as 92 per cent of the route will be elevated, six per cent will go through tunnels and only the remaining two per cent will be on the ground.

Initially, the train will have 10 coaches with a total seating capacity of 750 passengers. In the future, it is proposed to have 16 coaches with a seating capacity of 1,250 passengers.

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